1 2 3
flatlander937 HalfDork
4/10/21 1:10 p.m.

This is an article/awareness piece I wrote regarding Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS)... Which basically covers a whole bunch of new tech coming on vehicles as standard equipment, such as auto emergency braking, auto cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, blind spot monitors, 360 cameras, etc. Stuff that not a lot of us want as enthusiasts (me included), but it's trending toward becoming standard on all new cars.

I will warn you, it is four pages long, but if you have any of these systems on your vehicles or vehicles of family and friends, it is worth a read to understand how they work and when they need calibrated. There are a lot of scenarios that you would not normally think of that require calibration, and having a camera or radar facing off even one degree can cause the car to slam the brakes on for no good reason, etc.





Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/10/21 4:40 p.m.

I just want an "off" button for that stuff.   Just another reason new cars are so expensive.....

ddavidv UltimaDork
4/11/21 7:46 a.m.

It appears the OP may be in the auto body business, as am I (sort of). I hate all of this new tech. It adds tremendous complexity and expense to repairs. I also drive a car that is equipped with a lot of this tech and it is more intrusive and annoying than helpful.

Most of this is to help the incompetent among us. How useful it all is can certainly be debated.

flatlander937 HalfDork
4/11/21 12:26 p.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

Yep. I do all the electrical diagnosis, calibrations, etc for every vehicle that comes through my primary shop, and I do mobile ADAS calibrations and OEM scans for other places. 

Im not crazy about this tech as a consumer(great for business though!), but it's stuff we need to all be aware of. Especially with stuff like Hondas and Toyotas and VWs where every time you remove the grille/bumper it needs recalibrated. If it's off by even 1 degree is makes a big difference in performance. Last thing you want is the AEB bringing the car to a stop when making a left on a solid green in the middle of an intersection with oncoming traffic.

Ranger50 UltimaDork
4/11/21 1:07 p.m.
flatlander937 said:

In reply to ddavidv :

Last thing you want is the AEB bringing the car to a stop when making a left on a solid green in the middle of an intersection with oncoming traffic.

And that's why the tech needs an off switch. The laws aren't as advanced as the tech is at this point. Good luck on getting out of that ticket because "my car just shut off!".

Apexcarver UltimaDork
4/11/21 2:07 p.m.

Most of it does have an off switch, you just have to switch it every key cycle.

4/11/21 6:50 p.m.

flatlander937, thanks for posting that!

WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/11/21 10:20 p.m.

I agree, that's a great article. Thank you for the info!

flatlander937 HalfDork
4/13/21 11:00 p.m.

Thanks! Yeah today this rolled in... Simple bumper off for a headlight replacement... Do the math and it's staring toward the ground and oncoming traffic if left un-calibrated. surprise It's roughly aimed a bit over 1ft left and bit less than 1ft down for every 10ft in front of the car at that level of misalignment.


To be fair I don't check the aim before the bumper gets removed... But I'd expect performance problems if it were really that far off before repairs.

GCrites80s HalfDork
4/14/21 11:49 a.m.

And people think cars are going to reliably drive themselves in 6-18 months.

flatlander937 HalfDork
4/17/21 11:53 a.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

Yeah I doubt that very much.



Also another fun data-point: had a 2018 Camry that needed radar/360 calibration/parking sensor programming (yes you read that right) plus a post scan... Total cost? $950. 


For. A. Camry.


Most was tied up in the 360 calibration as it's an involved setup procedure with laying targets on the ground and adjusting horizontal/vertical/angle/zoom in and out of all 4 cameras to stitch the images together... No pics, was hustling to get it all done before the end of the day. FWIW this calibration you enter diagnostic mode via the radio and can do it yourself if you want to save money. It doesn't slam the brakes or do anything weird so it's not really the most important thing in all reality.


The park sensors are fun, when they get replaced they will not work at all until programmed. You measure the vertical angle of each sensor in relation to the ground and program that value into them. 

Slammo Reader
9/13/21 11:14 p.m.

Good read, thanks for sharing that info @flatlander937

flatlander937 HalfDork
10/2/21 2:03 p.m.

In reply to Slammo :



I went on the SlipAngle Podcast and few months ago at Mid Ohio with Adam Jabaay. We got to talking about ADAS stuff something like 15-16 min in if you want to hear more about it.


This was a fun catch recently. One of my non-regular shops gave this car to the customer and it reportedly slammed the brakes going into a tunnel. 

They then called me to calibrate it. Get out there and it's very obviously bent way off. Radar and bracket both needed replacement first.

They didn't think anything needed done the first time because "no lights were on".

The radar/bracket was removed and reinstalled for them to replace the entire front core support. (!) Any time you remove and reinstall you are required to redo the aiming per Hyundai. 

To muddy the water even more, these newer Hyundais require you to read the serial # off the back of the module, and based on that you set the vertical angle anywhere from + to - 5.0 degrees of vertical. The number represents the inner (working) surface vs outer surface difference. Not like many where you just set to 90 deg and go. 

These are insurance-recommended, mfr-certified body shops. It is the minority of shops that legitimately understand this tech and how important it is to make right. THAT is the scariest thing. 

californiamilleghia SuperDork
10/2/21 2:30 p.m.

thanks for posting , its pretty scary because I bet most of the shops around here have no idea these need adjusting , plus they have no way to do it in small shops

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/2/21 2:36 p.m.

For all the people that hate it, there are probably just as many or more who love it.  I get requests all the time to make it work again after something causes it to fail, usually corroded wiring.


i have never done a system alignment, we have a guy who we contract that stuff out to. He is one busy mofo.

californiamilleghia SuperDork
10/2/21 2:40 p.m.

is  there a master list of cars that have ADAS , and is there a way to test ASAS if your were buying a used car ?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/2/21 6:19 p.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

It is usually an expensive option, so the list would not be very useful.

Dead giveaways would be big black blobs in the front/center of the car, usually integrated with the front bumper or the grille directly above/below it.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/2/21 8:39 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Dead giveaways would be big black blobs in the front/center of the car, usually integrated with the front bumper or the grille directly above/below it.

All of the cars that I've seen with these kinds of feature have options to turn it on/off in the menus.  So if you buy a used car, read the owner's manual, then spend an hour or so going through the menu looking at the various options and you won't be surprised.

360 cameras are amazingly useful.  Once you've driven a car with one and used it for tight parking situations, you'll want one in every car you own.

flatlander937 HalfDork
10/4/21 3:05 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

is  there a master list of cars that have ADAS , and is there a way to test ASAS if your were buying a used car ?

There's no way to test a system for being "in spec" short of just calibrating it in a lot of cases. If you do all the setup to perform the check, you've basically done all the work needed to actually do the calibration.

Generally speaking, when it comes to front-facing cameras (near the rearview mirror), those typically just need adjusted when the glass is removed and reinstalled. GM, Honda, and Subaru off the top of my head have additional requirements that they be calibrated depending on the type of collision/severity. Subaru the strictest requiring after all collisions regardless of severity, and GM close behind depending on how you(or your insurance company) reads their position statement. Honda requires with structural damage which includes either of the bumper beams being damaged, the door intrusion beams being damaged, or any non-bolt-on part of the unibody. So if you're welding on the unibody, it's getting calibrated. They all required if the module is removed from the windshield or the windshield removed from the vehicle, which is the same stance most other manufacturers take.

You need to look at the exact wording for the exact year make and model vehicle in question for most. Plus look at any applicable position statements or collision repair bulletins.

For radar, If it's a system that requires static alignment, then most of the time is spent setting up the target and finding center line of the vehicle. Once you have the target set down, it's literally a 2-minute procedure in most cases and then you're done.

Blindspot monitors usually do not require anything unless they are physically damaged or they're mounting areas or damaged assuming they are body mounted. Hyundai and Kia have the strictest requirements where they need to have angle checks done (if on the body), and then the dynamic alignment performed while driving (whether body or bumper mounted). Toyota is pretty much the only other company that has an angle check procedure, plus a static aiming shooting at a target after the bumper is back on. Some manufacturers like Mazda have an aiming procedure, but no angle references to check before the bumper goes back on. So as a result, you shoot the radar and hope that the bumper doesn't have to come back off. Other than those three, for the most part there are no specifications. Best rule of thumb is if it is body mounted, you check the vertical and horizontal angle of a known good sensor assuming both sides aren't wrecked.

360 and backup cameras on most cars are not super exact, despite having pretty complicated procedures to aim them. Nissan is probably the worst looking in my opinion, as far as the mesh from one camera to the next goes. What's pretty nice is the newest GM trucks do they calibration every time you turn them on, so there is no real requirement to do anything even after replacement. 


As far as checking things if you are buying a used car, you would probably want to budget $600-1000 for a Honda loaded with FFC and radar to be calibrated.

Honda radar will give a degree reading of how far it's in/out of spec during the aiming procedure since you tweak it mechanically (on the low center mounted type). 

In a more practical sense, your best bet for radar is probably just test driving the car in as many strange driving scenarios as possible. In particular going under bridges, up and down hills (which even some when calibrated correctly will slow down if it's driving downhill before it goes back uphill quickly just FYI), down country roads with trees and mailboxes nearby, in traffic on the highway, and down winding roads with oncoming traffic in the opposite lane.

For the front facing camera, turn on the lane keep assist or lane watch warning, etc and slowly drive over the line on a straight road that has good lighting and very visible lines and just take mental note of how close you can get to the line before the things start beeping. Most are pretty decent when calibrated, except some very early Hyundai ones which suck no matter what. They get calibrated with a stupid suction cup thing stuck to the hood. Newer ones get calibrated while driving once you put it into a dynamic learn mode, or with a large target statically a specific distance in front of the car, which is far more accurate.

Blind spots and 360 cams are easy enough to drive and just verify proper function. Plus they won't do any goofy stuff like slamming on the brakes or force the steering wheel left or right while driving so the risk isn't near as bad if those are off.


As far as identifying cars with these features, the cameras are a dead giveaway being behind the rearview mirror for the forward facing camera. If you have 360 cameras there will be one under each mirror, one in the center of the front grill, and one on the back hatch. Radar is sometimes obvious and sometimes not. Nissan has it completely hidden in a lot of applications. You can almost always find out whether it has it or not by going through the instrument cluster and seeing if there is any kind of collision avoidance or auto cruise control features. Subaru is the only company that uses a camera only system for the auto cruise control, everyone else has radar. GM uses a lot of FFC but very few radars for collision avoidance. Unfortunately once again it just depends on what kind of vehicle you're looking at to give an exact answer.

flatlander937 HalfDork
10/29/21 5:13 p.m.

More fun stuff. Windshield was SMASHED right directly into the front facing camera on this Mercedes when I originally looked at it. Unfortunately I do not have the targets/software for Benz FFC calibrations but I noted that replacement was necessary when it originally came in. 


Glass company replaced the windshield but not the camera.

Visual inspection before performing a post scan found the camera wasn't replaced, and there are actually glass bits and chips embedded in the lense of the camera. So I let the shop know it still required replacement + calibration at the dealer.

Depending on who is looking at/repairing your car, they will not know to look for this stuff. The codes will all clear on the post scan, and the uninformed will think it's good to go.

flatlander937 HalfDork
10/29/21 5:19 p.m.




This was what seemed like a pretty minor front end hit, but a closer look found it completely bent the radar module downwards (attached at the radiator support). Stuff like this is why Nissan says you MUST aim the radar when there is ANY front bumper damage at all. Plastic stuff deforms a LOT in a collision and may spring back to looking not that bad on the outside. Obviously in this case the radar module and mounting components need replaced as well.

flatlander937 HalfDork
10/29/21 5:25 p.m.


Last one for now: I got a call out to this shop saying the front radar needed calibration.

They completely missed the fact it took a direct hit and was bent downwards about 15-20 degrees. So I am not going back until the radar, it's mounting bracket, AND the crossmember (because it has tabs integrated that are bent) are all replaced. FYI it is a big no-no to repair ANY bumper cross beams at all since it's a structural component. While the tabs aren't necessarily structural themselves, that's not something I'd ever want to have to defend against in a courtroom. 

Apexcarver UltimaDork
10/29/21 5:45 p.m.

Which Nissan model is that?


Know anything specific regarding Rogues?

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/29/21 5:54 p.m.

Note to self. 

Don't buy a new car. 



Apexcarver UltimaDork
10/29/21 7:01 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

is  there a master list of cars that have ADAS , and is there a way to test ASAS if your were buying a used car ?


generally has information on the former.

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners